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DHL Express adds to alternative-fuel delivery fleet

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By August 2012, delivery company will add 100 liquid-propane autogas vans in California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Texas.

International delivery company DHL Express will put another 100 propane-powered pickup and delivery vehicles on the road by August 2012, adding to existing fleet of more than 4,000 non-conventional vehicles.

The Ford-250 vans will be equipped with ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel systems. They will support service in California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Texas. The company already operates propane vehicles in Ohio, Tennessee and Louisiana. The new vehicles carry the same factory performance characteristics and warranty coverage as gasoline-powered vehicles.

Deutsche Post DHL's corporate goal is to improve overall carbon efficiency by 30 percent against a 2007 benchmark by 2020. The new technology in the "autogas" vans helps save more than 22,587 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per van annually, according to DHL.

DHL has an estimated 4,000 alternative-fuel delivery vehicles on the road worldwide. In Manhattan, company supports has an "all green" fleet that includes 50 hybrid vans and 30 trucks that are powered with electric batteries.

The company said it chose liquid propane for its latest alternative vehicle investment because it has a larger public infrastructure than many other methods with thousands of fueling stations across the United States. That compares with less than 500 public stations for natural gas, according to federal estimates.

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Heather Clancy

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Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure